For Release:  Oct.13, 2008 

CNN Continues Record-Breaking Coverage for Final Presidential Debate

Network Sets Itself Apart With Live Voter Reaction, ‘Magic Wall,’ ‘Best Political Team on Television’

        As the final inning in this presidential election approaches, CNN again will combine all-star talent and cutting-edge technology when Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) debate for the final time on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

        Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and Lou Dobbs will anchor Debate Night in America from the network’s political nerve center, the CNN Election Center in New York. Members of the “Best Political Team on Television” will contribute to the in-depth and multi-platform special programming which attracted more than 9 million viewers during the second debate.

        CNN has set new records with each presidential debate so far this year, winning all key demographics among the cable news networks.  Most notably, CNN’s coverage of the vice presidential debate delivered more 18-34 viewers than any scheduled program in the network’s 28 year history, and the most recent presidential debate ranked as the highest delivery in the 18-34 demographic on television that day.  

        Debate Night in America begins with special editions of The Situation Room from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Lou Dobbs Tonight from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Campbell Brown: Election Center from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. CNN will air the presidential debate from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A special edition of Anderson Cooper 360° will wrap up special programming after the debate until midnight.

        Throughout the evening, chief national correspondent John King will report alongside the “Magic Wall,” breaking down data in key states. CNN correspondents Ed Henry and Jessica Yellin and senior political analyst Bill Schneider will be live on location in Hempstead. Senior political correspondent Candy Crowley and correspondent Dana Bash will join the conversation from CNN’s Election Center in New York. Senior analysts Gloria Borger, David Gergen and Jeffrey Toobin will offer insight along with CNN political contributors Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, Alex Castellanos, Roland Martin, Ed Rollins, Hilary Rosen and Leslie Sanchez.

         CNN also will continue to stand out by providing viewers with instant audience feedback from uncommitted voters in Columbus, Ohio. CNN special correspondent Soledad O’Brien will moderate the participants, who will operate electronic dial testers during the debate. Viewers will instantly see whether the candidate’s answers resonate with voters in the battleground state. In addition, viewers watching the broadcast in high-definition will see exclusive scorecards gauging positive and negative information from CNN’s panel of commentators.

        Online, will provide live updates as news-making moments happen during the debate., the site’s political news gateway, will feature complete coverage and analysis before, during and after the debate. Up-to-the-minute analysis and fact checks of candidate statements will be available from CNN’s political unit on the Political Ticker, the Internet’s No. 1 political news blog according to Nielsen Online. Users may engage in real-time conversation about the debates on The Forum,’s recently launched destination for social and political self-expression.   
        In addition to live-streaming the debate in its entirety, Live offers users the ability to watch real-time commentary from bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum. Live anchor Melissa Long will host hour-long pre- and post-debate shows including analysis from the “Best Political Team on Television.” 

        For its post-debate coverage, will offer users the ability to watch the entire debate online through video on-demand and full text transcripts. Additional post-debate coverage will include report cards for each candidate featuring “grades” from CNN political analysts, as well as debate performance ratings from users and a searchable video transcript of the debate. A special edition of the AC360 podcast, including the entire debate and featuring a special introduction from Anderson Cooper, will be available on iTunes Thursday, Oct. 16., CNN’s unfiltered user-generated news community, is inviting iReporters to share their video analysis of the debate, as well as the ways and places people are watching the debate around the country.

        In addition to airing live on CNN/U.S., the presidential debate will be simulcast on CNN International, CNN en Español and CNN Airport Network.

        CNN Radio will carry the full debate live for its affiliates. At the conclusion of the debate, CNN Radio will provide a half-hour program with post-debate analysis, anchored by CNN Radio’s Chris Chandler from Atlanta with Steve Kastenbaum and Dick Uliano in Hempstead.

        CNN Newsource will provide its affiliates access to on-site reports from correspondents Stephanie Elam, Sandra Endo and RunningMate correspondent Samantha Hayes.

        The Election Express Yourself, the network’s customized Airstream trailer designed to give Americans across the nation an interactive political experience is making its next stop at the final presidential debate. The airstream trailer will be located at the Hofstra Student Center in Long Island, N.Y. from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
        In an effort to help educators and parents discuss the political process with students, CNN Student News, CNN’s cost-and-commercial-free educational program for middle and high schools, is offering several free resources, including a downloadable one-sheet, a “Debates Viewing Guide,” and a video explainer about presidential and vice presidential debates. These online tools can be accessed by visiting  

        CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.


All times Eastern.
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Edie Emery                          Washington, D.C.                
Meryl Conant                     Washington, D.C.